“Autistics Speaking Day” (ASDay)… What does it mean? Well, it means a few things: 1. Speak up when you feel uncomfortable about what is being said to you, 2. Let your voice be heard when someone is arguing with you, 3. Speak up so your thoughts & ideas are presented, 4. Speak up with confidence so your voice will be acknowledged, 5. Speak up because you are a very important person. These are just a few reasons to speak up to tell other people, “Hey I have rights too, y’know.” and “I am not a shmuck or schmo” or “I am here and no body will push me around.”
I thought I would tell the story of a man who once stepped all over me like I was dirt and mud on the ground, but I’d rather not rehash the negative. Instead I have to move forward in my quest to have my voice heard & I want others to be able to do the same.
Finding a dream we want, finding our way to be who we are, or finding who we ‘Aut’ to be can be a difficult process in our lives. “Autistics Speaking Day” is a start to allow and give us a format to be heard. Although the individuals who are high profile in the autism community have the privilege of large numbers of people to hear their voices. That does not diminish or silence our voices.
Being your own self-advocate and asserting your rights is not a natural ability for any one. You must be willing to learn to do it right. It’s important to speak your mind, however, you must listen to what the response is. Maybe there is a misunderstanding why the person had those thoughts, they may have made assumptions they should not have made. The good point is most people are willing to learn or at least that is my hope.
Think about it for awhile on your own using your intuition about how you will speak up in any situation. Its easy, first sit back, relax, and meditate for about 15 minutes or so. Clear the rest of your emotions and thoughts out. Now think how you can approach that person who does not treat you with respect and dignity. How would you be able to get your message to be heard by that person? It is not by lowering yourself to their level, cursing, or shouting. It is with well thought out words, calmly, and with poise explaining to them how hurtful they can be at times to you.
When we speak up to someone who disgusts us, we have to think about what we really need to say to them to get them to understand we’re not going to take it. The most important thing before you you speak up to this individual is to try and find an outlet to get rid of all those angry and hurt feelings that are festering inside. If you are unable to get rid of the negative feelings, you will continue to have those feelings which will become worse inside and you will feel ready to explode at any moment.
“Autistics Speaking Day” is really about being heard, but also about listening to how we speak to other people as well. It is a daily learning experience about becoming a self-advocate and the more we advocate for ourselves the more effectively we will be heard. In return, we will also learn how to listen to our counterparts who are learning from us. The more successful we become in speaking up, the more confident and comfortable we will be in society. Speaking/Listening is the first step in setting and accepting boundaries.
Do what you love, do what you can, speak your mind, and LISTEN!!
posting more soon, but for now Happy Autistics Speaking Day!!